August 2014

Dear friends and partners,

It’s been awhile since I have written – primarily because Miriam and I have been in Canada for a summer holiday. It was so very good to catch up on the lives of family and friends – my only complaint was that trees have a way of getting in your face – too many for my liking.

We are finishing our twentieth year as Tabitha Cambodia. In preparation for this august occasion, our development staff spent a week together – evaluating the work of two projects – Prey Veng and Svay Rieng. The rules were different this year – none of the staff from these projects were allowed to be with the other staff as they interviewed several hundred families from each project. At the end of the week we had a debriefing session – a session that was unusual in its impact on everyone.

A number of families were interviewed who had graduated from our programs several years ago, a number of families were interviewed who just graduated, a number of families mid way in the program and a number of new families just beginning. We wanted a cross section of families.


The debriefing was very emotional – staff talked of families who had graduated and are graduating of being in tears. Why the tears, I asked. These were tears of thankfulness. Families talked of their despair before they were involved with Tabitha – the common word to describe how they felt was – we were miserable. We could not think anymore – we had given up. With the savings program came encouragement – our message of you can do anything – our message of always being there to celebrate each step of progress – was what the families needed.


As the discussion progressed – several managers were in tears – why, I asked. Apo said it best – I was nothing before Tabitha – now I am everything – I am proud of who I am – I have a wonderful husband and family – I have a home - all the things I never thought I would have. This is what we give our families – the same ability to take pride in themselves - to be confident in taking new steps – in making the choices – it takes courage to make these choices but we do it.

The managers of Prey Veng and Svay Reing glowed with pride and a sense of achievement – both Phat and Ponluck glowed. It was so very good. Yesterday, Ponluck passed away – he had been diagnosed with an infection in his leg – we brought him to Vietnam this past week-end – his infected leg was not the problem – Ponluck was ridden with cancer – he died knowing the impact he had on thousands of fellow Cambodians. We all miss him because we are family, because we take pride in each other’s achievement- because we care.


Almost twenty years – in October we will celebrate. To honor Ponluck and to celebrate our first twenty years – we are having a20 Year – 20,000 people like yourselves – donate $20 – the average cost of helping a family each year. Choeung just opened our latest province in Kampong Cham – how very good that is. The choices we make, the celebration of life continues.

There is one major obstacle to maintaining the progress made by our families – and that is illness – illnesses like Ponluck’s – illness that was terribly misdiagnosed and caused death. Our vision is to begin addressing the next major cause of severe poverty in Cambodia – we have a village of 1500 families where 763 families have sold all that they have achieved because of illness. We have begun to address this issue through the building of Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital – a hospital that will begin to address the needs of the most vulnerable in society – the women of Cambodia - focusing on effective and efficient treatment. It is a part of Tabitha Cambodia yet separate so that we are able to continue to bring people out of poverty – while developing strategies to keep people out of poverty.  The hospital is a huge venture and so we keep this programs separate financially so that all our programs may thrive.


Our latest project – the Nokor Tep Women’s hospital has also reached a milestone – the basement floor is done and the retaining wall to the main floor is complete – for this we are celebrating and continuing our campaign to have 1 million people donate $10 – we ask you to help us – ask everyone you know to BE ONE IN A MILLION. Together we have achieved innumerable miracles – this miracle is also achievable.


Cambodia is slowly joining the modern world but as yet – does not have credit card donation capacity. Hopefully it will be coming soon. In the meantime I do want to make it as easy as possible for all of you to donate through our Tabitha Foundations. You have stood with us for all these years – come and celebrate our impending 20th Anniversary. My God has been so very gracious – 20 years of living a life of celebration with the people of Cambodia – with all of you. 20 years of new visions and working towards a sustainable future.  How good that is!


To celebrate our Anniversary –

20,000 Partners at $20 for Tabitha  and/or One In a Million for Nokor Tep –$10

  just click on one of the following and put in 20th Anniversary or Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital or both


USA:         (20,000 for $20)      (1 in a Million)

Singapore : (20,000 for $20)  ( 1 in a Million)


In Australia for Tabitha Partners:

In Australia for Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital:



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No. 109 Path Road, Prey Sor East Village, Prey Sor Commune, Dangkor District, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  • Tel: 023 231 590/ 023 231 596/ 081 231 590/ 088 279 5050

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